Matilda Violet Bleakley died during the Belfast Blitz on 15th April 1941. Born on 3rd July 1890, she was the daughter of William Crotty and Elizabeth Crotty (née Downing) of Wolff Street, Belfast, Co. Down.
Matilda had older siblings; Jane Crotty born on 19th April 1881, Thomas Crotty born on 25th April 1882, Marian Crotty born in 1883, John Crotty born on 12th February 1885, James Crotty born on 12th February 1885, Elizabeth Downing Crotty born on 4th March 1886, George Manson Crotty born on 24th July 1888. She also had 2 younger siblings, Helen Crotty born on 13th March 1892 and Leslie Crotty born on 4th March 1894. With a growing family, Shipwright William Crotty moved from Wolff Street to Dee Street and on to Thorndyke Street.
By April 1941, Matilda lived at 8 Thorndyke Street, Belfast, Co. Down with her husband Thomas William Bleakley. Matilda and Thomas married on Christmas Day 25th December 1913 at Newtownards Road Methodist Church, Belfast, Co. Down. The couple shared their small terraced house with Matilda’s sister Mary Ann Crotty.
Matilda and Thomas had 3 children, William Thomas Bleakley born on 17th December 1914, Marion Crotty Bleakley born in September 1916, and Edmund Bleakley born in 1918.
Matilda Violet Bleakley died when the roof of the Thorndyke Street public air raid shelter collapsed. Many of those inside the shelter died in The Easter Raid of 15th April 1941. She was 50 years old.